Let’s face it. Arsenal and Arsene Wenger and have over-performed this season. The very fact that they are still in the Premier league title race is itself a testimony to the fact. They have also qualified for the FA cup quarterfinals after knocking out rivals Liverpool and Tottenham. Of course, they are all set to bow out of the Champions League but only the staunchest of Arsenal fanatics would try to predict that Arsenal could win the tie against the world’s best club right now, Bayern Munich.
Juxtaposing this season’s campaign with those of yesteryears, Arsenal have performed brilliantly this season. Their stingy defence coupled with uninterrupted goals on the other side of the pitch has seen them transform from mere 4th place contenders to real title challengers. However their swansong looks set to be ending just as they have begun to capture the imagination of fans.
Let us have a look against Arsenal’s next 6 fixtures –
1.) Tottenham Hotspur (A)
3.) Manchester City(H)
5.) Bayern Munich(A)
Surelt the calendar must have forgotten to be nice to Arsene Wenger’s boys. Travels to White Hart Lane, Stamford Bridge, Allianz Arena and Goodison Park in a span of 4 weeks will test the team, depth, talent and most importantly their desire. Facing an injury crisis in the meanwhile only adds to their woes. Arsene Wenger is without Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey, his 2 best players this season.
With dropping points looking certain, the lost to their bogey team Stoke could prove to be the beginning of the end for the stylish Gunners and throw their splendid campaign in disarray. Liverpool have already leapfrogged them and Manchester City have 2 games in hand. Further the return of key striker Sergio Aguero will give them the cutting edge that they have been lacking recently.The Gunners face an uphill task of reversing a 2-0 deficit at the Allianz Arena, something that no team in the world looks capable of doing.
So the talking point is
DO THE GUNNERS HAVE IT TO RISE TO THE OCCASION IN CRUNCH TIES?
Statistics say otherwise. While they have performed well against teams below them in the table so far, they have come a cropper aginst the bigger teams. They have collected only 8 points against the top 7 teams so far this season. Humiliating losses to City and Liverpool and disappointing draws against Manchester United and Everton sum up their tale. These facts surely raise eyebrows when it comes to their performances when it is required.
Therefore, the writing is surely on the wall for Wenger and Mourinho’s ‘SPECIALIST IN FAILURE’ remarks will hang like a albatross around his neck.